Monday, July 21, 2008

Saswato R. Das on science fraud

The article contains the text:

I was at Bell Labs when the Schon misconduct unfolded. Schon was young and charismatic and seemed extremely bright and productive (a common description if one examines the personalities of scientific fraudsters). And he claimed to have performed experiments that were the envy of all, things people had been trying for years and had failed to get to work. He became known as the kid with golden hands.

When the fraud was discovered, an investigating committee found evidence of massive misconduct - whole data sets were reused in different experiments, and some of the data had been generated from equations.

Looking with hindsight at the Ninov and Schon affairs, both were exposed quickly. In the latter case, it was less than a year after Schon made his most spectacular claim that he found himself out of a job. There is a lesson in this: Most important scientific frauds are exposed quickly.

IPBiz would have to take issue with the idea that the Schon fraud was exposed quickly.

See also

The Das article had text of relevance to patents:

With most cases of fraud, one wonders: Why did the perpetrator do it? It may be that science has a winner-takes-all reward system - the first person to do a particular experiment or espouse a particular theory gets all the credit.

Pioneering patents represent a winner takes all reward.


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